Thursday, August 28, 2008

UMPIL and Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas 2008

On Saturday, August 30, you have at least three reasons to visit Museo ng Sining of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) Building within the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Complex, Macapagal Avenue, in Pasay City:
  1. Juan Luna's Parisian Life (the controversial 115-year old painting that won a silver at the St. Louis Exposition in 1904 was described by scholars in 1892 as “a visualization of Filipino patriots' concern to Motherland” and now valued at P45.5 M);
  2. Fr. Edicio de la Cruz' solo art exhibit featuring his 10-foot mural called Notes for a Theology of Struggle (after recently winning the Natatanging Anak ng Quezon 2008 with Justice Stephen Cruz, Hobart Dator, Conrado Dayrit, Nicodemor Eleazar, Ramon Grimaldo, Justice Angeline Gutierrez, Nelia Hizon, Fabian Millar, Rolando Ong Bon Jieng, Atty. Asis Perez, Rebecca Ruga, and Cesar Sia);
  3. Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas' 34th National Convention which will be highlighted by the keynote address of South Korean novelist Bang Hyun-seok (who is the president of Society of Young Writers for Understanding Vietnam) and the awarding ceremonies of the 21st Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas with the following great writers as the recipients of the Manuel Baldemor trophy for this year:
Ruperta VR. Asunción (for Iluko Fiction) has won three major awards for her body of works as an Ilokana writer in 2008 alone, namely: 1. Special Award of Distinction as a Creative Writer in Iluko literature (first in University of the Philippines Los Baños); 2. Leona Florentino Award in Iluko literature (the first awardee in the UP System); and 3. the Outstanding Award in Culture and the Arts awarded by the UP Alumni Association.

Armando Y. Lao (for Filipino Screenplay) has won the grand prize in the Experimental Cinema of the Philippines scriptwriting contest in 1984, the Urian Awards (for Takaw-Tukso, Itanong Mo Sa Buwan, Pila-Balde, Tuhog and La Vida Rosa), an official competition entry in the Cinema of the Present section of the 2000 Venice International Film Festival (for Tuhog), the Film Academy of the Philippines Awards, the Philippine Movie Press Club Star Awards, the Catholic Mass Media Awards, and the Young Critics Circle, the Cultural Center of the Philippines Awards for Ten Best TV Programs in 1991 and 1992, and the 2nd place in an international competition in San Francisco (for Walang Bakas). With Fanny Garcia, he co-edited Pitong Teleplay and Apat Na Screenplay published in 1995 and 1997 respectively.

Edgardo B. Maranan (for Poetry and Essay in English and Filipino) has won Maranan has garnered a total of thirty prizes—a record number—for his works in English and Filipino in the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature so he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in September 2000. His latest literary achievements are the 2008 NCCA Writer’s Prize for the English Essay, and a research grant from the Asian Cultural Council to undertake a residency with various Philippine-American community theater groups in the United States.

James Teng Choon Na (for Chinese Poetry) has won a Literary Award from the International Confucian Merchants Association in Guangzhou, an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Literature from the World Academy of Arts and Culture in the United States of America, a Certificate of Merit on Poetry for World Brotherhood and Peace from the United Poets Laureate International U.S.A..

Delfin L. Tolentino (for Essay) has won the 1993 Most Outstanding Faculty Award from UP Diliman, the 1990 Local Fellowship for the Essay from UP Creative Writing Center, and Second Place in the 2004 Sawikaan: Mga Salita ng Taon.

For the 2008 Gawad Paz Marquez Benitez for Outstanding Literature Teacher, the winner is Prof. Ligaya Tiamson Rubin “due to her dynamic, intense, and penetrating approach to the teaching of language and Filipino literature, countless students have been encouraged and shown the way to the appreciation and love of, and pride in Filipino culture; her tireless and extraordinary sharing of knowledge with co-teachers on the effective teaching of communication, linguistics, cultural studies, and Filipinology have all been fountains of inspiration.”

The 2008 Gawad Pedro Bucaneg goes to Aréjola Foundation for Social Responsibility, Inc. as the Outstanding Literary Organization “for the special support and a(ention to, and the resources it has given and reserved for, the development and promotion of Bikol literature and culture.”

After lunch, we – together with the UMPIL Executive Board members (Abdon M. Balde, Jr., Vice Chair; Celina S. Cristobal, Secretary-General, Rebecca T. Añonuevo, Treasurer; and Ruby Gamboa Alcantara, Auditor) and Board of Directors (Romulo P. Baquiran Jr., Karina A. Bolasco, Jose Wendell P. Capili, Michael M. Coroza, Marne L. Kilates, Mario I. Miclat, Charlson Ong, Fidel Rillo, Frank G. Rivera, Beverly W. Siy, and Joaquin Sy) – will have a General Membership meeting.

On the agenda is the drafting of the Writers Welfare Act, under the guildance of Atty. Bernardita Fortuno, based upon the recommendations of members of the such committees as Constitutional Amendments (Ad Hoc), Congress, Membership, Welfare and Benefits, Finance, Publicity, Ethics, Advocacy, Election, Education and Training, Awards and grants, Publications, and the Regional Coordinators for Luzon, for Visayas, and for Mindanao.

UMPIL has tapped poet Vic Nierva to re-design the UMPIL for its identification card that enables its holder to avail of group term insurance and book discounts from Anvil Publishing, New Day Publishers, among others.

But more than that, UMPIL is concerned about the works of the writer that's why we have been partnering with the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines through its Director General Atty. Adrian S. Cristobal Jr. and the recently formed Filipinas Copyright Licensing Society (FILCOLS) headed by National Artist Virgilio S. Almario as Chair.

Convention fee is P100 for students and P200 for non-students while UMPIL Membership fee is P600, inclusive of ID, lunch, and two meriendas courtesy of GSIS Museo ng Sining Director Ryan Palad.

In fact, as affordable as the seminar fee of the University of Santo Tomas Department of Languages and Linangan sa Imahen, Retorika, at Anyo's Tulawikaan sa Agosto on August 27 at the UST's Thomas Aquinas Research Complex -- where we, too, will deliver a lecture with LIRA president Prof. Beverly Siy, Prof. Michael Coroza of Ateneo de Manila University, Prof. Romulo Baquiran, Jr of Filipinas Institute of Translation, Dr. Lilia Antonio of UP Diliman, among others, on how to teach Filipino by talking about the language history, syntax, variety and variation, to name a few.

For details, please contact Dai Miranda (0926-7135021) or Por Requinto (0906-4364659) or send your email at or